Sunday, November 15, 2009

Redskins Win! Igor, Hurt

It's not difficult to get excited when the Redskins finally win. I was able to watch some of the game online today and it was great to see the team trying some new things. For a game and 1/2 they have really been trying hard.

Igor (Kyle Orton) was hurt for the second half though. After that he ran to the sidelines "Master, master... I play still?" To which master (Josh McDaniels) replied... "No Igor go sit on the bench".

But hey, a win is a win. Sorry Igor. You play next week, I promise.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dirk's Dragon Warfare

Modern Warfare 2 just became the most successful entertainment release in history. It is charting somewhere north of $300 million in its first few days. I just finished the short solo campaign and have come to the determination that it is much like the gameplay of Dragon's Lair. Move to the left you live, to the right, you die. Now, there's a lot more to the game; like the Special Ops portion and the online multiplayer, which is where the term "game" best fits. But the solo portion's mechanics, to which many are showering praise, is well trodden gaming territory.

Turns out that Modern Warfare 2 solo part is very much less a game then a story... but a good one, one that takes some risks and is fun to take part in. Therein, me thinks, is why it is making all that green. Games may not be for everyone, like crossword puzzles or scrabble or Civilization IV, but an interactive movie? Apparently so.

Up next for me is getting beat up by everyone online. AKA: The "game" portion. To give you an idea of how many people are playing this game... I'm ranked (after about 30 mins of playing) in the 3,000,000 territory. And that's just on the Xbox.

O, Dragon's Lair, where would we be with out ya?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty Modern Warfare is one of the best games I've ever played. I've just plowed through most of the single player game on the second one now and pretty much what I can say is that it is more of that same goodness. That's a nice run on sentence for ya. It's more of a movie then anything. You have some choices and you do have to find the right spots but it pushes you along with the story.

Now, the story? Over the top war stuff. Although... it is with Russia and being a child of the final days of the Cold War, I find some sort of enjoyment in that. Virtual enjoyment (sheesh). It's something that fits comfortably. I guess it is simplifying the game to just pick out Russia as the only story bad guy. It's more complex then that. But going up against them brings back feelings from old Red Dawn. In fact the game plays on that a little calling one of the missions "Wolverines".

The game is hitting it's marks well and has some scenes plucked right out of movies (ex: The Rock shower room scene, or plopping you in a situation very similar to Black Hawk Down's convoy experience). The visuals are way above average and the depth of knowledge and research that went into the game is mind blowing. That said, it never lets you stand there and admire any of it. It moves at a breakneck pace.

There is a scene that the news media (and some parents alike) are pulling out and rallying against. Yeah, it's in there, but your still the good guy trying to take down the bad guys. It's pivotal to the overall story and the writers scripted it in there to make you dislike the bad guys. It works. You want to win and prevail of that evil. It's akin to the opening of Red Dawn. It's gives you an enemy you want to take out and turns the story into a good old fight between the USA and the Soviet Un... er, Russia. Only, Sum of all Fears Tom Clancy like. In fact... exactly like that. Sorry, spoiler.

Ah, Red Dawn. WOLVERINES!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bob Knight

Bob Knight was inducted into the Indiana University Hall of Fame over this past weekend. Not to much seems to be made about it and I'm glad. He did not show up and I do not believe he should have. Longtime Knight friend, Bob Hammel of the local Bloomington paper accepted the honor in his place. He had the following to say:

"What those numbers don’t say is what made Indiana so special, ’cause everyone knew that what Bob Knight was doing at Indiana was kicking the slats out of that perennial excuse that you have to cut a few corners, that you have to cheat a little bit. Everybody would have loved to catch Bob Knight cheating on something and they never could. The never did and they never would. That alone, coming at a time when they graduated kids and were bringing in great kids and putting together the model program in college basketball, is why this night had to happen. Tonight is recognition that those really were priceless days. The time of distancing a great university from a coach and players who contributed richly to that greatness is over."

I agree with that statement 100%.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Well, Yoder had a nice catch

He did. Redskins go down again this week. Lots of folks out there are pointing to a good second half but I wish they didn't. The game was in Atlanta's hands by then. I don't want to hear about Campbell looking good or even Betts running well (he did show heart). The only thing I am noticing about Campbell is that he keeps going to the sidelines injured. His confidence is gone and his ego is no more and with that his immature behavior is peeking out. Not the kind of immature as in beating his girlfriend or shootings at clubs, but the kind that is more like a kid who never had any coach push him. I guess I'll take the latter, but it is disappointing.

The Redskins were outmatched and Atlanta knew it. The Falcons wound up winning 31-17.

It's going to be a long rest of the season.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


While sitting here waiting for the election results to come in I wondered over the the AV Club. With the AV Club as with some other sites, you get lots of comments on short little articles that seem as if they were posted for conversation.

One of which is one about how half the people with DVR can't find the FF button to advance through commercials. Not the most interesting topic and nor where the comments because everyone was just describing there experiences with DVR with plenty of vulgarity... That is till I came across this one by kjohnson1585:

"Man, remember back then when you were teaching your grandma how to program a VCR? You might as well teach her how to build a computer from scratch. It ain't happening."

Now, I'm not saying that all grandma's can learn this. Heck, I have a hard time with things. I found myself today thinking... Hey, maybe I'll get the new fancy pants phone when it comes out... wait, can I, or more importantly, do I want to figure it out?

The kicker in the article (from the NY Times) is that it was people between the ages of 18-49 that couldn't find the button.

Yeah, the new phone... it ain't happening.

Maybe I should get it for my nana.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Modern Mythology

September 8th, 1990:

"You can call it a miracle or a legend or whatever you want to. I just know that on that day, Brett Favre was larger than life."

- Gene Stallings, Alabama Coach, after Southern Mississippi's Brett Favre led the team to a comeback victory who - six weeks prior - had a near fatal car wreck in which he had 30" of is small intestines removed.

November 1st, 2009

"It was about what I expected," Favre said. "It was probably worse every time I took the field ... but I considered it a good thing. It's better than saying nothing, I guess. I know what I did here. You can ask the teammates I played with here. ... I would venture to think all the guys I played with would speak positively about the way I carried myself. ... Although I wasn't expecting a standing ovation, I know what I've done and what I stand for."

As he went on he got a little emotional. I checked behind him during this interview to see if any Green Bay fans were still there cheering him. There were, thank goodness. He spent 16 years there being what the fans thought, was one of them. He was, he is. What he is not is one of the people that run the Packers franchise.

"I know how special these fans are," Favre said. "I think deep down inside I know how they feel. Packer fans cheer for Packers first. I know that. I hope that everyone in the stadium watching tonight said, 'That joker's on the other side, but he does play the way he's always played, with his passion and love of the game.' As long as I play, that's not going to change."

As I watched the post game interview on the field with Brett Favre I couldn't help but get a little into the moment. He was trying his best to get off his chest what he wanted to say to all the fans there in that tiny microphone in front of him. Even though he seemed to be searching for words, I think the words found him.

Green Bay ownership wanted to move on without him and insert the new young gun, and they did. I think Brett took on a two year journey to get to Minnesota (Green Bay's rival) and stick it to them. An he did. I know that revenge can sometimes be hollow. In this case I think only Favre knows if that's the case. I also think that the ownership of which he was exacting revenge on probably feels empty as well. Not because of the team loosing, but for the decisions they made two years ago. And the fans, for whom cheered him on for nearly a generation? I hope they are upset with themselves for booing him, but in fact, are feeling probably pretty empty as well for doing so.

From is roots in Kiln, Mississippi (pop. 2000) to is time as 7th string QB at Southern Miss (the only school to offer him a scholarship), to this first Packers pass (which he completed to himself), to his young days enjoying a beer or two, or his addiction to painkillers, to his two Super Bowls, through is wifes cancer, to the legendary game after his fathers death, to setting most all passing records including interceptions all through his 276 game start streak. His story is seemingly as rich as Davie Crockett or Daniel Boone. And like any other stubborn southerner, he refuses to quit or go quietly.

By beating the very group off people that said he was washed up twice this year... Brett did what he done set out to do.


Here is the obligatory excerpt from Wikipedia about his early days:

Favre was born in Gulfport, Mississippi, and raised in the small town of Kiln. He is of French and Choctaw ancestry; one of his paternal grandparents was a Native American affiliated with the Choctaw. He was the second of four children and attended Hancock North Central High School where he played baseball and football. Favre started for the Hancock North Central baseball team as an eighth–grader and earned five varsity letters. He played quarterback, lineman, strong safety, placekicker and punter in a primarily option, run-oriented offense coached by his father, Irvin Favre.

Irvin Favre said he knew his son had a great arm but also knew that the school was blessed with good running backs. As a result, in the three years Brett was on the team, his father ran a run-oriented offense called the wishbone. Favre rarely threw more than five passes in a game.

After high school Southern Mississippi offered Favre a scholarship (the only one he received). Southern Miss wanted him to play defensive back but Favre wanted to play quarterback instead. Favre began his freshman year as the seventh–string quarterback and took over the starting position in the second half of the third game of the year against Tulane on September 19, 1987. Favre, despite suffering a hangover from the night before and vomiting during warm-ups, led the Golden Eagles to a come-from-behind victory with two touchdown passes.

In his junior season, Favre led the Golden Eagles to an upset of Florida State (then ranked sixth in the nation) on September 2, 1989. Favre capped a six-and-a-half-minute drive with the game–winning touchdown pass with 23 seconds remaining.

On July 14, 1990, before the start of Favre's senior year at Southern Miss, he was involved in a near-fatal car accident. When going around a bend a few tenths of a mile from his parents' house, Favre lost control of his car, which flipped three times and came to rest against a tree. It was only after one of his brothers smashed a car window with a golf club that Favre could be evacuated to the hospital. In the ambulance, his mother was sitting with him. "All I kept asking [her] was 'Will I be able to play football again?'" Favre recalled later. Doctors would later remove 30 inches (760 mm) of Favre's small intestine. Six weeks after this incident, on September 8, Favre led Southern Miss to a comeback victory over Alabama. Alabama coach Gene Stallings said, "You can call it a miracle or a legend or whatever you want to. I just know that on that day, Brett Favre was larger than life."

100 Times No

Big vote up this week for plainly named "Issue 3" here in Ohio. It's yet another attempt by casino owners from outside the state to bring them in. Ohio has voted this down 4 times since 1990.

I'll sum up and set up what is going on right now with this issue:

The states around Ohio all have so called "Las Vegas Style" casinos. The argument for is that millions, if not billions are leaving the state, therefore Ohio is loosing money.

That's about it. But let me say that you would think that top state leaders in government would be for this (tax dollars baby!) but they are not (Democrat and Republican). It's the Fraternal Order of Police, Unions (including my favorite, the UAW), the casino owners themselves, Ohio's own Black Caucus.

Here is a complete list below. I'm posting all of them because you see a trend. Unions the will benefit from construction. I'm also posting it to give you an idea of just how many labor unions are large and active in the Unionized State.

AFL-CIO Ashtabula Central Labor Council
AFL-CIO Mahoning/ Trumbull County Labor Council
AFSCME Local 3192
AFSCME Ohio Council/ Mahoning Trumbull AFL-CIO
Bricklayers Local 5
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen
Carpenters Local Union 200
Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council
Cincinnati Building & Construction Trades Council
Cleveland AFL-CIO
Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council
Cleveland FireFighters
Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association
Construction Employers Association
Dayton Bricklayers Local 22
Dayton Building and Construction Trades Council
Dayton/Miami Valley AFL-CIO
IATSE #12 (Stagehands Union)
IBEW Local 38
IBEW Local 8
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 413
International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 37
Int'l Assoc. of Heat & Frost Insulators & Allied Workers
Int'l Assoc. of Machinists & Aerospace Workers - Lodge 34
Iron Workers Local 17
Ironworkers District Council of Southern Ohio and Vicinity
Journeymen Plumbers' Union, Local 55
Laborers' District Council of Ohio
Laborers' Local 1410
Laborers Local 310
MFLU Local 1099
North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor
Northeast Area Labor Federation AFL-CIO
Northeast Ohio Area Labor Federation
Northwest Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council
OAPSE Local 194
Ohio & Vicinity Regional Council of Carpenters
Ohio Fraternal Order of Police
Ohio State Building & Construction Trades Council
Operative Plasterers' and Cement Mason' International Association Local 80
Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6
Pipe Fitters Local 120
Plumbers & PipeLitters Local 162
Plumbers & PipeLitters Local 189
Plumbers, PipeLitters & Mechanical Equipment Service Local 392
Roofers Local 75
Roofers Local 88
Sheet Metal Workers Local 24
Sheet Metal Workers Local 24
Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (S.O.A.R.)
Tile Layers Local 36
Toledo Police Patrolmen's Association
Tri-County AFL-CIO Central Labor Council
U.A. Local 189 Plumbers & PipeLitters
United Auto Workers
United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 880
United Industrial Workers Union AFL-CIO
United Steel Workers Local 21
United Steel Workers Local 9401
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers

This morning the Columbus Dispatch planted a few articles (including the front page, above the fold, op ed against it. The paper also has there official stance in the Opinion section of the paper titled the same as this post. I'll put it at the bottom of this post.

What I think is that this is something that probably will happen at some point. I don't want it too, but probably will. I think if it passes now it will have been helped along by the down economy over the past 12 months, which is very sad.

Ohio has shaken off this kind of legalized gambling for the entire history of the state which dates back to 1803.

If strapped for time, scroll down to the closing paragraph, it sums my thoughts up perfectly.


Editorial: 100 times no
State Issue 3 is bad bet for Ohio and all Ohioans
Sunday, November 1, 2009 3:43 AM

There are 100 good reasons to vote no on State Issue 3, which would authorize Las Vegas-style casinos in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo.
These are the top 10:

• No special-interest group -- ever -- should be allowed to purchase a special place for itself in the Ohio Constitution. This proposed amendment was written by two out-of-state gambling companies for their exclusive benefit. It would prostitute the state's basic governing document.

• If Ohio ever authorizes Las Vegas-style casino gambling, the people, through their elected representatives, should determine the rules, regulations, tax rates and locations. There was no public discussion or debate over the drafting of Issue 3.

• By their own admission, the gambling companies behind Issue 3 are prepared to spend $50 million to buy their constitutional amendment. They have purchased the support of any organization or individual willing to be bought.

• The gambling companies decided their tax rate would be a ridiculously low 33 percent. How many companies and individuals get to decide their own tax rates?

• The four cities would have virtually no control, zoning or otherwise, over casinos, which would operate 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

• Not a dime of the casinos' tax proceeds would go to Ohio's general fund. All tax monies would be earmarked for local governments and schools.

• Casino profits would leave the state. The two companies that would own the casinos are based in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

• The lack of safeguards in the amendment would leave Ohio with the weakest casino regulations in the nation.

• Casinos suck economic vitality from neighboring businesses. The proposed location for the Columbus casino is a direct threat to the health of the Arena District.

• Las Vegas-style casinos spawn crime, addictions and family breakdowns. These societal costs far exceed the modest number of jobs they provide.

Democratic and Republican leaders agree that Issue 3 is rotten. Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, calls it "another bad deal for Ohio."

Betty Montgomery, a Republican and former Ohio attorney general, calls it straight: "Ohio's constitution should not be a playground for special-interest groups with big checkbooks."

Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, a Democrat, says Issue 3 would handcuff Columbus, giving city officials absolutely no say over casino operations. State Auditor Mary Taylor, a Republican, calls Issue 3 a sweetheart deal, crafted to enrich casino owners while shortchanging Ohio.

No responsible Democratic nor Republican official is standing up to defend Issue 3. The silence of some elected officials speaks volumes. Some simply have been purchased by casino interests.

Franklin County Commissioner John O'Grady, a co-chairman of the opposition to Issue 3, deserves special commendation for his courage in standing up to the pro-Issue 3 thugs. O'Grady says the Arena District represents the most pro-family development Columbus has experienced in decades. He recognizes a next-door casino would be a cancer on the district and on the entire Downtown.

"This (casino) is going to suck the jobs and customers away. It's going to bring an element of crime," O'Grady said.

He's right. And his point underlines how shameful and disappointing was the endorsement of Issue 3 by the state Fraternal Order of Police. Something is very wrong within the leadership ranks of the FOP.

Four times since 1990, Ohioans have demonstrated common sense in rejecting proposed constitutional amendments sponsored by big-time gambling interests.

For all of its current economic troubles, Ohio should not be tempted to cashier its core Midwestern values for the false promise of casino gold. There is no evidence on the planet that casinos rejuvenate depressed local economies.

There is not one good reason to vote for Issue 3. Not one.